Stretching from the northernmost end of the Sheraton Maui to the Hyatt Regency Maui at its southern tip, Kaanapali Beach is lined with resorts, condominiums, restaurants, and shops. If you're looking for quiet and seclusion, this is not the beach for you. But if you want lots of action, spread out your towel here. The center section in front of Whalers Village, also called "Dig Me Beach," is one of Maui's best people-watching spots: folks in catamarans, windsurfers, and stand-up paddleboarders head out from here while the beautiful people take in the scenery. A cement pathway weaves along the length of this 3-mile-long beach, leading from one astounding resort to the next.
The drop-off from Kaanapali's soft, sugary sand is steep, but waves hit the shore with barely a rippling slap. The northern section, known as Kekaa, was, in ancient Hawaii, a lele, or jumping-off place for spirits. It's easy to get into the water from the beach to enjoy the prime snorkeling among the lava rock outcroppings.
Throughout the resort, blue Shoreline Access signs point the way to a few free-parking stalls and public rights-of-way to the beach. Kaanapali Resort public beach parking can be found between the Hyatt and the Marriott, between the Marriott and the Kaanapali Alii, next to Whalers Village, and at the Sheraton. You can park for a fee at most of the large hotels and at Whalers Village. The merchants in the shopping village will validate your parking ticket if you make a purchase. Amenities: parking (no fee); showers; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; sunset; swimming; walking.